Mammogram – Women over 40 should get a mammogram screening each year. If you have a family history of breast cancer or dense breast tissue, check with your doctor if additional screenings may be a good fit for you.
Colonoscopy – Recommended for both men and women every 10 years, starting at age 50. If you have a family history of colon cancer, your doctor may recommend early screening.
Bone density – About one in two women and up to one in four men over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. Get your bone density checked, and work with your doctor to develop a care plan if you have low bone density.
Skin check – Ask your doctor to perform a screening for skin cancer at your next appointment, and each year after that. Do an at home scan monthly to be sure that there haven’t been any changes to the shape or color of moles.
Blood work – It’s important to “know your numbers” and how they affect your health. Routine blood work is recommended annually. This may include a lipid panel for cholesterol, glucose to check for diabetes, thyroid function and Vitamin deficiencies. Check with your doctor to see if it’s time to be tested again.
If you haven’t seen your doctor recently or had your regular screenings, make it an end-of-year goal for good health. You and your loved ones will be glad you did. If you don’t have a physician, El Camino Hospital can refer you to a general practitioner or specialist in your area – visit the Find a Doctor tool on our website.
This article first appeared in the December 2013 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.